MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - LaRon Dendy scored a career-high 21 points as Middle Tennessee cruised past Cumberland (Tenn.) of the NAIA 88-48 Tuesday night.
Dendy finished 8 for 11 from the field and a perfect 4 for 4 from the stripe for the Blue Raiders (5-1), who are off to their best start since the 1987-88 season.
JT Sulton added 14 points, Kerry Hammonds chipped in 11 points and also had career highs with five assists and four blocks. Jason Jones scored 10 points.
Dendy scored back-to-back baskets for the Blue Raiders to open the game, and they never trailed.
Middle Tennessee held the Bulldogs, who counted the game as an exhibition, without a field goal for a 5:42 stretch during the first half and opened a 20-point lead with 6:09 remaining before the break.
Dendy scored 14 second-half points as the Blue Raiders widened the margin to as many as 40.